This week I’m excited to be asking you a very important question. It’s a really critical question that you may not have ever asked yourself. One that when you do – literally has the power to change your life.
So What Is The Question That Has The Power to Change Your Life?
My question is this – “What type of stories are you telling yourself – about yourself and your life?“
What do I mean by this? Every day of our lives we are telling ourselves thousands of stories about ourselves and our lives.
They can be very simple stories – such as if it’s a sunny day it’s going to be a great day because it’s sunny OR if it’s a cloudy rainy day then that might mean a down day.
And they can be incredibly complex stories like:
- · I’m not good enough for that job because I don’t have “the right” qualification
- · I’m not good at relationships because I’ve had bad experiences before
- · I feel guilty as a Mum as I’m not spending enough time with my children
- · As a wife I should be doing this for my partner
- · If my partner loved me he would be doing something “special” for me
- · If my boss respected me he would give me a chance at that job and a raise.
Do any of these stories ring any bells for you?
Why Are The Stories We Tell Ourselves So Important?
Because the stories that we tell ourselves actually have a huge bearing on our lives.
There are four reasons:
1. Our stories carry an enormous amount of emotional energy that guide our thoughts, our actions and our behaviours. They can determine what we say, when we say and how we say it. We can go on autopilot – for example when someone cuts us off in traffic – what are we more likely to say or do?
2. Our stories can trap us and rob us of opportunities. For example if I tell myself I’m too young, too old, not good enough, not smart enough, not fast enough, I don’t have a degree … what opportunities could I be missing out on? I remember having a young PR consultant on my team who was brilliant but totally robbed herself with her story that she was “too young” for clients to take her seriously.
3. We can slip into society’s stories and conditioning – we can get caught up in what society says is right versus what is most important to us. Listen to my interview with Jay Rothman on Episode 3 of Your Freedom Unlimited on his pursuit of the American dream is a perfect example of this
4. The kind of story that we tell ourselves about one situation can be repeated in many others throughout our lives – an example of this is the story I told myself as a child about my ability to do maths and sport.
The Story I Told Myself About My Ability to Do Maths
As a child, while I enjoyed school and got good marks in subjects like English I remember I told myself the story that I wasn’t good at maths. This translated into a much greater level of fear when it came to doing maths, to asking the teacher for help in solving a problem in class and I was in deep fear when it came to doing a maths exam.
The difference between my performance in maths versus English, geography or history was astounding. I was pretty much an A student in my other classes, but in maths, because I told myself the story I wasn’t good at maths, that maths didn’t come easily to me, or people in my family then I was no good at it, I was barely a C student.
So I undermined myself, and I ultimately let myself off the hook by becoming a victim to that story. While that might sound like a simple story from my childhood I can see how the pattern of that story got woven into my adulthood.
The Story I Told Myself About Sport
Another “good” childhood story was that I was no good at sport. This was a more serious story because it saw me get into the comparison and “not good enough” game because my best friend was extremely good at sport. She was winning school events and district events in swimming, netball and athletics. She was truly amazing. While I was happy for her I spent way too much time on my negative “I’m not good at sport” story. I wasted enormous amounts of energy constantly criticizing myself and I stopped enjoying sport and our friendship as much. The good news is that she and I are still friends today – despite how I felt back then.
I need to be very clear right now – I had exceptionally kind and loving parents who were extremely supportive – my situation came down to the stories I was telling myself.
Looking back now I see how those stories of not being good at sport and the comparison with others started a pattern of feeling of not being good enough and not measuring up elsewhere in my life.
I see how that pattern was repeated and repeated and repeated throughout my life with different friendships, work, business and relationship circumstances. I can see now how it was me stepping into those negative stories that actually created my future.
I was comparing myself to things going on in my outside world as opposed to finding my own value with it.
So this is really talking to the heart of why our stories are so important. I truly believe the quality of the stories we tell ourselves impacts the quality of our life.
So we have to be really, really aware of what we’re saying to ourselves in every, single moment.
The Danger of Stories On Auto-Pilot
The other big danger here is if we go on auto-pilot with our stories. We can be in our stories all day every day and not even be aware of it.
All stories have an emotional energy – or frequency. I believe each story has what I call a Frequency Code. Inside this Frequency Code is your emotion, your conditioning and your past experiences. When the right set of circumstances occurs your emotions are triggered which then trigger your actions, your behaviours and your experiences.
When we are inside a situation like this it as though we are on autopilot. It puts in place a chain of events and a range of reactions and circumstances that can seem beyond our control.
An example of this may be that it’s our partner’s “job” to put the bin out. When we come home late at night and see that for the third week this month the bin is not out … we can go on auto-pilot and get crabby.
The good news is once we become aware of these stories, we can do something about them.
Our Stories Can Set Us Up As Victims
Another reason we must get super-conscious about the stories we tell ourselves, is that very often in our stories we become a victim to some other situation, person or circumstance.
That is not a fun, or a good, place to be.
Why? Because if we set ourselves up as a victim, then we’re always at a loss, we’re always going to be in a position where we’re going to find it difficult to move forward.
Who wants that?
So for me the ultimate story I now tell myself is that I am the creator of everything in my reality. And I mean everything. (BTW this is not something I have just dreamed up – it is a pretty widely held view especially in mindset, empowerment and spiritual circles).
What Are the Benefits of Being a Creator of Everything in Our Reality?
If I am the creator of our own reality it means I’m fully responsible for everything in my life and that means I can actually make a change.
If I create my reality, I can then make a change to that reality.
I can go from being that girl who wasn’t good at maths to being super good at maths. I can go from being that girl who didn’t feel she was very good at sport to being capable of, and enjoying sport.
That’s a really powerful position to be in. Suddenly I’m a creator of my world, and I’m no longer a victim.
When I got this, and lived it, it changed everything. When I was on my journey with anxiety this was the big turnaround. I realized that just by simply labelling myself with that term of anxiety I was telling myself a story and I was putting myself in a box.
It’s Dangerous to Put Ourselves in Boxes
When we put ourselves in a box it can be hard to get out. We become victims.
This idea also maps across to other people. What stories are we telling about other people in our lives?
What are you saying to yourself right now about how your partner, child, boss, employee is treating you? What boxes are you putting them, and yourself, in?
Watch Out for the Conditioned Stories of Our Society
We also need to be careful about the conditioned stories our society can pull us into – our fairy tales hold quite a few of them. Why are we still reading our children Cinderella?
You know those stories as a woman we’ll know a man loves us when he remembers special occasions, remembers “what’s important” to us, puts the bin out, buys flowers etc. And if those expectations aren’t met, then we’re somehow disappointed.
Then the conditioned stories we put ourselves into: “Oh I’m a girlfriend I must feel this way”, “I’m a wife I must do things this way”, “I’m a mother I must feel this way.”
We need to be really careful about ourselves in a situation where we’re becoming a victim to our own stories and set ourselves up to meet enormous expectations.
I know I did this for a long time – and it was only when I started to get super conscious of the stories that I was telling myself that everything changed.
So What Stories Are You Telling Yourself?
So today I wanted to put this out there and ask you, what are the stories you’re telling yourself about yourself and your world? Are they good stories or are they trapping you?
This is really, really important because once we become conscious of the stories we can take full charge of them, drop our victimhood and be fully empowered to make a change.
Stay tuned for my episode next week where I share with you how to change your stories!
I want to ask you to be self-compassionate. If you find some stories that are not supporting you just be kind and accepting of where you at! And know that I’ll be sharing with you next week how to change your stories for the better.
So thank you so much for joining me today. Please keep tuning in, there’s lots of great things coming up in the future.
If you like this podcast please share it with friends and subscribe and rate and review it. This makes a difference to getting the word out there so thank you so much for your time and spending this time with me today. I look forward to talking with you soon.
About Your Host:
How to be happy and feel more confident to live a truly free and unlimited life – that’s what I’m all about. My name is Jen Ramsey and I’m a mindset and empowerment coach who’ll help you get unstuck and take action on what matters most.
If you’re ready to show up for you authentically. drop your baggage, raise your vibe, feel more confident and create a clear roadmap for your life, business or career then I can help you. Just contact me via this website!
If you’d like to feel more calm and grounded right now click here to get access to my Choose Calm Meditation & 5 Step Guide To Choosing Peace and Calm: www.jenramsey.com/calm